Jump to content
Software Update Finished, feedback welcome Read more... ×
CrazyBoards.org

Recommended Posts

Hi guys, I'm new to the forum and newly diagnosed bipolar 2 after being misdiagnosed for ten years with anxiety, then major depressive disorder and finally in November, bp2. I'm on Lamictal, which so far I like. This week we increased to 150mg. I'm always itchy after an increase but usually no rash. I do also have eczema on occasion especially when I'm getting sweaty. On these meds I'm still having night sweats and in the creases of my armpits I'm getting what I think is eczema... And I scratched. I know, never scratch so now I have a little patch that's not bumpy but a little purple. Anyone know how to tell the difference between eczema and early signs of Steven's Johnson's Syndrome?

Edited by JazB2
Typo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm no expert or anything, but eczema is something that is more chronic and long-standing, whereas Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) is something that develops over the period of a short time with more symptoms than just topical skin symptoms. SJS includes symptoms like fever, flu-like symptoms, and painful lesions that form over the rashes. These lesions usually form around the mouth and can make it very painful and difficult to eat or drink. Conjunctivitis is also common with SJS and if not caught early enough can cause the eyes to swell shut. The rash can be purple in color though, so that alone concerns me (even though the same thing happened to me, and when I went to the doctor about it he said I didn't have SJS). Basically, from what I gathered, SJS is something you KNOW you have when you have it, but still, if you have any doubts in your mind as to whether you think you may have SJS, you really need to go to the ER immediately, as SJS is a medical emergency that requires immediate medical attention, even if it's not really SJS, because it's nothing to play around with.

The problem with Lamictal is that it can cause a whole bunch of skin issues, rashes, itchiness, and with me, acne (horrible!), and it can cause pdocs and gdocs alike to freak out and take people off the medicine thinking their patient is developing SJS when they might just be developing a benign rash. My keratosis pilaris flared up something awful too when I was on it. It's just a bad medicine for skin conditions... 

But really, if you think you have some of the symptoms of SJS in its beginnings, seek immediate medical attention.

Best of luck to you! I hope you don't have SJS, because if Lamictal is helping you, it's a good medicine despite its troublesome dermatological side effects.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have a look at this:

https://www.dermnetnz.org/topics/anticonvulsant-drugs-and-the-skin/

And if all else fail, see your dermatologist. I’ve been taking LTG for years, and it’s done all kinds of crazy shit to my already sensitive skin. You would not believe how dry my skin is now. Bug bites can take weeks to heal, as can any minor cut or scrape. I scar more easily. Don’t even get me started on the sunburns.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I went on Lamictal my psychiatrist told me that if I got a rash I should just call his office and he would fit me in any time and exclude SJS so that I could keep taking the medication. He said about half his patients end up getting some kind of rash at some time during the titration period because the titration period is so long, and rashes can appear for any reason or sometimes no known reason at all. Especially in someone who has eczema, or had it as a child like I did. He was annoyed with people in the ER who would take anyone with a rash off Lamictal while barely looking at it, because while SJS can be really bad, so can untreated bipolar disorder. With the difference being that people who are taking Lamictal often do have untreated bipolar disorder and despite the rash are unlikely to have SJS.

If you didn't go to the ER durinng the weekend, I suggest you treat it like eczema for the time being and call your doctor Monday morning. If you freak out and stop you might have to start the titration schedule all over again, so if it was me I would just keep taking it unless the rash was crearly spreading. Not everyone would though. My thinking is Monday is just hours from now, and your psychiatrist is more likely to see the whole picture instead of simply freaking out and completely eliminating all risk of being sued at the expense of what might be your best treatment option. Maybe that's just me being cynical. Good luck with Lamictal :)

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/27/2018 at 10:27 PM, Gearhead said:

Have a look at this:  https://www.dermnetnz.org/topics/anticonvulsant-drugs-and-the-skin/

And if all else fail, see your dermatologist. I’ve been taking LTG for years, and it’s done all kinds of crazy shit to my already sensitive skin. You would not believe how dry my skin is now. Bug bites can take weeks to heal, as can any minor cut or scrape. I scar more easily. Don’t even get me started on the sunburns.

Thanks for posting Gearhead! I've been on Lamictal for over a year. It's been good, minimal side effects, luckily no acne issues at all. But I have noticed my skin is itchy & insanely dry (I thought it was just the winter) and mosquito bites?!! OMG, I made the mistake of scratching and I have big round scars now over a month later! Weird!

Is there a good moisturizing body lotion (without alot of chemicals/parabens) that you recommend? I have used all kinds (from Nivea, vaseline intensive, Neutrogena, among many) and they really don't work well. They don't absorb and leave this thick waxy-like coating on your skin that is gross, you can literally scrape it off.

Edited by Blahblah

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, Blahblah said:

Is there a good moisturizing body lotion (without alot of chemicals/parabens) that you recommend? I have used all kinds (from Nivea, vaseline intensive, Neutrogena, among many) and they really don't work well. They don't absorb and leave this thick waxy-like coating on your skin that is gross, you can literally scrape it off.

Baby oil. Trust me.

Also, it'll feel disgusting when you put it on (at least it does for me). The gel is a little bit easier to manage, if you can find it. Ime it's pretty much the only thing that skin that won't absorb cream can handle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see a dermatologist regularly, luckily, so if I have any concerns about any rashes or strange spots that pop up or something, I can address it with her. She always seems to know what to do and has good advice about what to do, whether I need to just use an OTC lotion/cream/gel/oil/etc. or whether she needs to prescribe a prescription steroid/antifungal ointment/lotion/cream/etc. She's really good about getting work-ins also if there's any concerning rash that flares up. She knows that I have bipolar plus a bunch of other health issues for which I have to take a myriad of medicines, and seems to understand how each of them might interact with my skin.

Finding a good dermatologist might be a good idea especially if you're on an anticonvulsant, especially one like Lamictal. The wait time to be seen might be a while but once you are seen it's worth it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whenever I titrate an AED, I feel itchy all over, but it passes. I've been on lamotrogine for roughly 10 years. I do get minor rashes on my forearms and very rarely on my shins.  My husband takes it, and has a pretty bad rash on his shins, but it's definitely not SJS. And if he stopped scratching it, and making it bleed, it might not look so bad.

I am going to suggest the baby oil idea to DH, but we currently use Lubriderm® Advanced Therapy Lotion For Extra Dry Skin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have eczema and also got the rash on lamicatal. You sill know the difference, or atleast I did. Something was not right. I’ll post a pic of it but warning it’s gross af. I got it all around my lips and chin. Itchy, swollen, couldn’t open my mouth. Went to Er and was confirmed it was the rash. Two days after stopping lamictal it was completely gone. I just have the worst luck with medications lol 

B632AA3D-2B47-4F6D-8CCB-B196E3D777E9.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/3/2018 at 10:38 AM, crtclms said:

Whenever I titrate an AED, I feel itchy all over, but it passes. I've been on lamotrogine for roughly 10 years. I do get minor rashes on my forearms and very rarely on my shins.  My husband takes it, and has a pretty bad rash on his shins, but it's definitely not SJS. And if he stopped scratching it, and making it bleed, it might not look so bad.

I am going to suggest the baby oil idea to DH, but we currently use Lubriderm® Advanced Therapy Lotion For Extra Dry Skin

Apologies for the hijack, but I see you have gabapentin as one of your former RX. Did you also get itchy all over when you were titrating gabapentin?

I seem to be having an issue with itchiness (but no rash).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/31/2018 at 4:31 AM, Blahblah said:

 Is there a good moisturizing body lotion (without alot of chemicals/parabens) that you recommend? I have used all kinds (from Nivea, vaseline intensive, Neutrogena, among many) and they really don't work well. They don't absorb and leave this thick waxy-like coating on your skin that is gross, you can literally scrape it off.

My daughter (she's not on any meds), has occasional eczema flare-ups, and uses organic, cold-pressed, virgin coconut oil for the eczema......Works well for her every time, and it's chemical free.

You can usually find this type of coconut oil in the grocery store, or a health food store like Vitamin Shoppe....Be sure you get the organic, cold-pressed kind if you ever want to try it.

Just my 2 cents.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Similar Content

    • By rebird77
      Bipolar sucks so much.
      i got a high paying job and it’s not glamorous at all. I’m a woman, and it’s traveling in construction management. I actually used to work for the same company several years ago and did very well, but I wasn’t cycling and was unmedicated with no need for medication. My how times have changed.
      im very sick now. I’ve been off work for 6 months and tried to get back to work and thought this would be a good job. I must be crazy. I can’t handle the stress at all. It’s destabilizing me rapidly. Another thing that’s a ticking time bomb that just tells me I need to quit ASAP. My psychiatrist back home. The last time I saw him was October 18th. I told him I was going to get back to work and travel and he thought it was a good idea and he assured me he could call in my scripts to any state and as long as I saw him once a year that would be fine. Well, I called about a month later to get call in scripts and he was taking time off and having another pdoc call in his scripts. Gulp. So I have been doing that since October and I think my state medical board only allows another dr to do that for two months. I have enough meds hoarded for another month and a half. I called my psychiatrist and he was supposed to be back mid December and now they are saying mid February so now I am stranded with no psychiatrist and 5 meds including geodon and klonopin I’m dependent on.
      so I’m in trouble. Plus I’ve been cycling since I started working even on meds. I’m realizing I can’t work like I used to and I just need to face reality and move in with my parents and file disability. It’s hard to face. Hard. My sister is friends with a psychiatrist and she called him last night. I have two options on the table now. 1. Quit my job at the end of the week and tell my boss the truth and deal with him being mad and just get over it and make the 12 hour drive home and check myself into the hospital and see the new psychiatrist and get my meds changed and tweaked. 2. Wait on a call from the psychiatrist to my sister tonight telling her if he has any outpatient appointments over Christmas and if he does see him then and try to get him to call in scripts across state lines and keep working anyway even though it’s breaking me down. I couldn’t change meds because I wouldn’t have any time off to do so. 
      I think I know what I have to do but I’m terrified to talk to my boss. The company is based out of my hometown and I’m not sure what to say. I was considering talking about my doctor disappearing on me and not being able to get my scripts and needing them immediately or I will have seizures. Or just outright saying I have bipolar and I can’t do this and I apologize. I can’t work anymore and this is disabling and I didn’t want to think it was. Or just say I quit and I’m leaving my computer and company phone and it’s effective immediately. Help. What do I do and say? I wish I hadn’t gotten into this mess. The problem is he will have to replace me immediately or the job will shut down. I have to look at that as not my problem. My problem is my lifelong bipolar diagnosis and the fact that I could go psychotic if I don’t get help. That’s my problem. Not this project. 
      Any helpful advice is welcomed. I wished this had gone differently but I guess bipolar just blew up my life. It’s about to ruin my finances and burden my parents to care for me until I get ssdi. Plus I own a house that my parents will have to pay for until we rent or sell it. I feel like I’m made of glass. I used to handle stress without a worry. Now it destroys my life. I feel like I’m crying inside right now.
    • By Sisterevila
      I was discharge from the Psych hospital on November 9th. While in the hospital they started me on lithium to manage the bipolar and also suicidal ideations. Since I have felt horrible my side effects:
      -internal restlessness (akathesia)- I take a bath 2-4x a day to help my body calm down.
      -weight gain
      -acne and skin going from very soft to rough
      -irritability
      -social anxiety
      -labile emotions (crying at everything to road rage when people drive like jerks)
      -inability to focus and work
      -sexual dysfunction (goes with the akathesia)
      -headaches and nausea when my levels are too high
      - I cant keep my levels in a normal range at 1200mg they are too low @ .6 and at 1500 mg they are too high @ 1.2
      After a month of trying really hard to be medication compliant and stay on lithium I begged my PDOC to switch me. She finally agreed today. I was hoping to get opinions on medications that have been the most effective at managing your Bipolar. If you have any info on lamictal I'd really appreciate it.
    • By Drjekyll
      I am diagnosed bipolar 2, OCD, GAD, and at one point ADHD although the psychs can’t decide if it’s true or not.
       
      my cocktail:
      wellbutrin xl 450 mg in morning
      lamictal 200mg at night
      lexapro 10mg morning for the GAD and OCD my OCD is the obsessive thoughts type.
       
      My issue being mainly that I lack motivation and am tired all the time as well very hungry and have gained weight but can’t find the hunger control to diet and can’t find the motivation to exercise.
      yes it’s terrible and could be affecting all of this but for years it’s the only way I can function half a pot or a whole pot of coffee in the morning and  occasionally a monster or two in the afternoon I practically live on caffeine.
      i sleep ok usually about 7-8 hours a night.
      luckily I have a job currently although I’m a serial job hopper.
      somehow I have a wife and daughter who put up with me. I’m on my 20’s
      im 6 foot tall and was originally 225 when I was exercising but after wife’s pregnancy and post partum and life of course I’m now 289.
      just trying to see if anyone has experienced similar cocktails because although I’ve been under treatment off and on since 15 I have honestly not tried many meds more so favoring trying different doses of the same med because I have enough of a hard time holding a job without the med game happening.
      i have tried seroquel which is a never again
      strattera which messed with blood pressure. Gabapentin which is absolutely not. Adderall which was obviously awesome but is likely bad for the bipolar. Abilify which made me feel mentally handicapped. Buspar which made me practically forget my own name. 
       
      Just found this place and basically looking for any experiences, thoughts etc.
       
    • By rebird77
      Hi everyone, it's been a while. 
      So, I took the full 6 months of my short term disability, and I just started a new job. It's a little stressful, but it pays well. It is a contract job, and it required me to move to the location of the contract. I'm salaried though, and my company is putting me up in an extended stay hotel, and they are flying my home once a month and getting me a rental car when I am home...so I can come home and see my sisters and parents. That is a blessing. I can see my best friend too. 
      I am struggling with the never ending anxiety that I can never beat. I take a lot of meds for my bipolar. I think mine is really non specified because I'm so hard to treat. I take geodon, gabapentin, topamax, klonopin and lunesta plus vitamins. If I could wean off klonopin I could probably wean off everything but geodon. I'm just not ready to wean off klonopin, and I take .5 mg even though I'm prescribed 1 mg. 
      I am doing therapy online with betterhelp since I am on the road, and it is going pretty good. I just selected and therapist, and am sticking with her. I don't like her as much as my IOP therapist, but it is online, so I acknowledge the quality of therapy won't be as good but it is consistent. 
      I did go no contact with my ex boyfriend because that relationship was slowly killing me. He'd been abusive in the past, and was a narcissist. I loved him so much that it contributed to my breakdown in a serious way, and taking this job moved me out of state and away from him and helped me go no contact, so I am working through that with my therapist. It's hard. I've had ptsd over the past couple months since my short term disability was about to run out and I wasn't sure what I was going to do about money, and I knew I had to do something about him. I was waking up with nightmares and night terrors thinking someone was trying to kill me or I was going to die or the world was going to end. I don't know how to describe it. It was terrifying. I felt completely untethered from this world and it felt like I was threatened and like I was going to not live or survive or maybe subconsciously didn't want to. That was the scariest thing. I slowly started to feel disconnected from everything. Like I am just meaningless and one of billions of people and what does it matter? Those weren't my thoughts but my feelings. I was fighting that daily. I have been fighting that.
      ive also been fighting some mortality issues with my age. Since I just broke up, I just turned 39, and I am traveling and single again. I am scared I won't meet anyone again or fall in love again. I worry about my parents aging. All of a sudden this stuff is in my head. I think because I have leaned on them so much this year since it has been so hard. 
      'I guess the good news is, I stopped having nightmares a few nights ago. No more night terrors and waking up thinking I'm going to die. I enjoyed music at work today. I went to a recovery group at church last night and that was helpful to talk and heal about what I went through with my ex. I'm trying to do the best I can at work. If it works out, great. If it doesn't, life will go on, and hopefully, so will I. I am trying to live more in the moment and practice mindfulness to help with my anxiety. Trying to take things one day at a time and if I can't do that, take things one moment at a time. 
      I know bipolar is for life, but I think recovery is possible, and it is possible to function with this illness, but maybe we just have to modify our lifestyles. Right now I just come to the hotel, take it very easy and am very gentle with myself and rest at night. I try to exercise when I feel like it. I need to be a little better with my diet. But it's not that bad. I'm not pushing myself working late or volunteering to work longer hours even though I know I can. I know what that leads to...cycling. My goal is boring stability. I take turmeric and magnesium to keep brain fog at bay but I wish I knew what I could do about these feelings of despair and loneliness. Maybe that's not mental illness. Maybe that's just heartbreak, and will take time to heal on its own. 
      Love to you guys and to everyone living with mental illness. 
    • By mikl_pls
      Does anyone know what actually causes Lamictal-induced acne?
      Lamictal gives me the most god-awful acne on my back, shoulders, and chest. I got off of it for a few years after I had just totally had it with the horrendous, almost cystic acne that it caused. It cleared up finally after a few years, but not completely, and finally cleared up almost completely after I got off Zonegran. But when my pdoc recommended recently that I give Lamictal another try due to my recent decline in mood, I reluctantly decided to give it a try, with the idea in mind that my physical appearance (covered by shirt nearly 99.99% of the time) was less important than my mental stability. Sure enough, after about 3 weeks or so, these zits are popping up on my back, shoulders, upper arms (even over my tattoo), and chest. They're not as bad as it was when I got off Lamictal last, but they're definitely there, and they're definitely getting worse. I'm only on 25 mg bid (twice a day), and she may want to increase the dose the next time I see her (here in a few days), as this dose isn't doing anything to help my depression.
      I saw a dermatologist for years while I was on it the last time and she couldn't figure out anything out to help it. I tried the following medications:
      Oral doxycycline (Vybramycin) 100 mg bid (didn't really help at all) minocycline (Minocin) 100 mg bid (helped mildly for a little while, then quit working) sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim (Bactrim DS) 800 mg/160 mg bid (this was the only thing that put a dent in the acne but I wasn't able to take it long because it caused blood test abnormalities) Topical salicylic acid (no help) adapalene gel (Differin) 0.3% (helped mildly) BenzEFoam Ultra (micronized benzoyl peroxide) 9.8% (no help) benzoyl peroxide/clindamycin gel (BenzaClin) 5%/1% (worked decently, but bleach-stained my clothes) benzoyl peroxide wash 10% (both generic and PanOxyl brand) (no help) tretinoin topical cream 0.025% (no help) clindamyycin phosphate lotion 1% (Cleocin T) (some help combined with benzoyl peroxide and adapalene) erythromycin gel 2% (A/T/S, Emgel, Erygel) (no help) I don't think topical medications are really the answer, really. Plus it was a PITA to reach around my back applying these topical meds on my back and shoulders every day twice a day with some of them.
      There were several medications we tried to try, but my insurance wouldn't cover it... like dapsone topical I think was one of them...
      I was just wondering if anyone knew the root cause of Lamictal-induced acne so I could address it with my dermatologist when I start seeing her again. Or is it just something I would have to just deal with?
×